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Hormones are busy relaxing all your muscles at the moment, which can cause heartburn.
You might feel breathless, or like a very large elephant is sitting on your chest. Symptoms get worse as your growing baby presses against your stomach, pushing acid back up the oesophagus. Things may improve, however, as pregnancy progresses and the baby drops down.
Over time, you will work out which foods settle best in your stomach: you could try keeping a food diary to identify trigger foods. Avoid anything spicy, fatty, fried or rich. Some say cutting out wheat, caffeine and alcohol makes a difference. Pastry, pickles, bacon and cheese are also on the blacklist.
Try eating little and often, rather than having three big meals a day. Eating yoghurt, ice cream, rice pudding and bananas help some people.
In addition to watching what you eat, don’t bend over as that squashes your tummy, and avoid wearing anything tight. Sleeping propped up against pillows can help or the sofa might even be an option if you want to try sleeping upright. It will also give your partner a night’s peace, but only do so if it suits you; after all, you are the incubator. Acupuncture, osteopathy and reflexology can also offer relief.
The most common approach to dealing with the hell of heartburn, however, is to turn to an antacid or other over-the-counter remedy. Your GP can prescribe Gaviscon, so at least you don’t have to pay for it. It doesn’t work for everyone but there are alternatives and your GP should be able to advise you.
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Heartburn during pregnancy can be horrific, but the best cure is to give birth – that will happen eventually and, when it does, the heartburn will disappear instantly, as if by magic. In the meantime, if you really want to scare fellow commuters, pop your Gaviscon in a hip flask or brown paper bag and swig regularly.
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